Course design

    • Thinking about course design/redesign?
    • Looking for greater programme cohesiveness?
    • Thinking about graduate attributes in your programme design?
    • Developing a fully or substantially online course?
    • Planning to incorporate new learning/teaching/assessment approaches?
    • Want better collaboration within the programme team?
    We have a range of resources and services that can help.

  • Our consultants are available to speak at your events.

    Rhona Sharpe is Professor of Learning and Teaching. She has given many keynotes and presentations.

    • Sharpe, R. (2016) Rising to the challenge of education in a digital age: who are the leaders now? Ed Tech 2016, Irish Learning Technology Association, Dublin, May 2016.
    • Sharpe, R. (2015) In defence of MOOCs: rethinking pedagogy for an open, digital age. University of Northampton, Teaching and Learning Conference, 21 May 2015.
    • Sharpe, R. (2014) Developing digital literacy: 5 P’s for online learners. Innovate to stimulate, Inaugural Teaching and Learning Conference, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 9 May 2014.
    • Sharpe, R. (2014) Connected and confident: characterising effective learners for a digital age, Distance Education Association of New Zealand Conference: ‘Open Flexible and Distance Learning: Where is the “E” in Engagement?’, Christchurch, New Zealand, 30 April – 2 May 2014.
    • Sharpe, R. & Benfield, G. (2012) Supporting learners’ use of technology in digital contexts, Improving Student Learning Conference, Lund University, Sweden, September 2012.

    George Roberts has an international reputation on community, identity and learning online and off. He has given Keynotes and invited presentations:

    Personal development planning, portfolios, e-portfolios, assessment and reflective learning.

    • Keynote at the Learning and Teaching Conference, Falmouth College of Art. (2005).
    • Beyond Flexibility: flexible distributed learning (FDL) and e-portfolios.
    • Invited speaker at University of the Highlands and Islands Staff Development Conference. Aviemore, Scotland: UHI Millennium Institute.

    Mark Childs has an international reputation in developing practice to support online collaboration and communication. His learning approaches build on the idea of telepresence and embodiment, which underpin new explorations of digital identity and literacy. Mark has been an invited speaker and presented keynotes at the following:

    • “Through Despair and Hope: The Cycle of Second Life”, (2016) SOLSTICE Conference, Edge Hill University, 9th and 10th June, 2016
    • Childs, M. with Walton, G. (2015) “Projekt AMORES radionica: Primjena ICT-a u učenju književnosti”, CARNet Users Conference 2015, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 19th November, 2015
    • "Learning which requires us to 'be' differently", (2015) Keynote at The seventh eLearning 2.0 Conference, Brunel Business School, London, 29th July, 2015
    • “Role of social media in supporting online collaboration” (2014) Changing the Learning Landscape - Realities of social media in learning and teaching, Warwick University, 24th April, 2014
    • “Perceptual and Psychological Immersion: Making Sense of Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality”, (2013) Mobilearn Asia 2013, Suntec Singapore Convention Centre 2-3 October 2013
    • “Transmedia Narratives: Examples to Definitions”, (2012) Invited Speaker to The London Transmedia Fest, 2012, Ravensbourne College, London, 26th  to 27th October, 2012
    • "Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Student Success in Virtual Worlds: Why Rosa keeps dancing",(2011) Opening Keynote at SOLSTICE: Effective Practices: Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Student Success conference, Edge Hill University, 8th - 9th June 2011
    • Childs, M. with Knudsen, A.C.S.  “Telepresence”, (2011) Invited Speaker at Didaktikk og Teknologi, Lillehammer, Norway, 7th to 8th February, 2011
    • “Three Virtual World activities from the I Dig Tanzania Programme” (2012). Invited Speaker to the Research and Innovation in Distance Education and Elearning Conference, 19th October, 2012, University of London
    • Childs, M. with Nadolny, L.  “STEM+ in 3D Virtual Worlds” (2012) HP Catalyst Summit, Hewlett Packard. Beijing, China. April, 2012.

    "It was quickly apparent to me that Mark was one of those people that when he spoke, it was important to listen to him. His understanding of education in a virtual medium transcended the too-often seen rush to technology as a solution. His understanding of pedagogy and the necessity of placing it before the simple adoption of technology caught my attention. Since then, I have read much of his writing and use it to inform my own work." Dr Paul Jerry, Athabasca University

    The Course Design Intensive (CDI) is a team-based curriculum development process. It is intended for whole degree programmes, as opposed to modules or units. Typically the process spans several months and involves consultancy and 2 or 3 days of workshops organised by OCSLD. To read more about the origins, development and benefits of the CDI process see Dempster et al (2012), Benfield (2008a) and Benfield (2008b). CDIs are for course teams who have already decided to develop one or more specific curriculum objectives, e.g:

    • blended learning
    • distance learning
    • innovative assessment across the programme
    • problem-based learning
    • redesigning for graduate attributes

    The idea is that course teams bring their syllabus, learning outcomes, assessment regime, etc, and we supply experienced educational developers, learning technologists and subject librarians and work together to (re)design your course. The aim is to do course design in a concentrated, collaborative way. Originally developed to support Technology Enhanced Learning, CDIs worked so well that they are now used to support curriculum development of all kinds. The process has been adopted by several UK universities, including the University of Brighton, Coventry University, Robert Gordon University and the University of Oxford. The CDI process has also been taken up in Australia. In 2013 Greg Benfield, who leads the CDI process at Brookes, was appointed Visiting Fellow at Victoria University, Melbourne, to help establish the process for supporting an ambitious university-wide curriculum renewal project (for more information see Curriculum renewal at Victoria University, Melbourne). You will find an extensive set of resources, including archives of CDI resources and materials on our CDI wiki.

    We welcome international visitors to Oxford and can arrange events from 1 to 3 days for groups, which include a range of guest speakers, workshops and social time in Oxford.

    "We were keen to gain a fresh, external perspective on course development.  We had heard about the OCSLD Course Design Intensive process [from Rhona Sharpe when she visited us to speak at an event].  We were also aware of OCSLD's experience and reputation. The training was very successful in that the facilitators really promoted dialogue within the course team, and made it a low-bureaucracy exercise.  We are seeing course teams continuing to use the methodology, in particular to promote and support whole-course enhancement"

    Professor Alan Davidson
    Dean for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Assessment
    Robert Gordon University

    "The first thing to say is that the work they did for us was incredibly helpful and useful. We are attempting to build a very complex university wide programme with numerous competing ideologies and requirements. The CDI developed for us moved us lightyears ahead. I would never have been able to get us moving so far and so quickly without them. Every session was useful and the participants were engaged, energised and enthusiastic about what we are trying to do. That was in large part down to the planning and facilitation that George [Roberts] and Mark [Childs] did. George was particularly good at the facilitation of the sessions. He also helped pull ideas together and get them down in a way that kept us moving forward. The combination of really understanding mundane QA procedures and processes, having expertise in curriculum development, using groupwork skills and having an external eye was so powerful and helpful. Well worth the money!"

    Professor Tim Kelly
    Professor of Social Work and Dean of the School of Education and Social Work 
    University of Dundee